Franz Caba


Como quien no quiere la cosa (On the quiet)




Dominican Republic


112 x 167.64 cm


Acrylic on canvas

Credits: Private collection

In his work, Dominican painter Franz Caba reflects on the Caribbean—in general—and on the capital city of Santo Domingo’s identity in particular. Caba tackles themes such as the effects of insularity, precarious employment, improvised material culture, the aspirational gaze toward the United States, and the trauma of migration through the lenses of gender, race, and class. The Dominican body usually appears metaphorically represented through the landscape and the local nature of the island. In this painting, a branch with several bunches of bananas rests on a deckchair as a tourist tanning in the sun. The deckchair is on an isolated rock in a rough sea. Caba reflects on how the gaze of the foreign tourist influences the self-perception of Dominicans. The artist wonders whether Dominican identity includes a performative component aimed at trying to satisfy the racist and sexist fantasies of the foreign gaze on the island. Therefore, in Como quien no quiere la cosa, the bunch of bananas could represent the tourist or the Dominican body as an object of desire ready to be consumed.